Lean Balance is a ephedra-free, caffeine-free fat burner offered by Liposystems. It contains 3 sources of calcium which “enhances the body’s own ability to burn fat.” Of course, Lean Balance also contains a slew of other ingredients, all of which we’ll examine in a moment. First, though, let’s start with the calcium…
It is true that both adults and children who have a low calcium intake are more likely to have a higher body mass index, find it easier to gain weight, and be overweight than those with a high calcium intake (Am Coll Nutr 2002;21:152S-5S). It’s also true that increasing calcium consumption seems to be effective for weight loss for those individuals following a low calorie diet.
However, studies have found that increasing calcium consumption (to 1,000 mg/day) from dairy products (especially yogurt) is the most effective — supplements may not prove to be nearly as helpful (Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:907S-12S).
So it’s unknown how much benefit the calcium in Lean Balance will really provide for weight loss.
In addition to calcium, Lean Balance contains chromium (a helpful ingredient that helps moderate insulin function), vitamin D, phosphorous and potassium.
What else is in Lean Balance?…
1. Garcinia cambogia: standardized for HCA, or hydroxycitric acid (also called Citrimax). Early animal studies seemed to indicate that HCA/Citrimax displayed an amazing ability to block the conversion of carbohydrates into fat by inhibiting an enzyme called ATP-Citrate Lyase. It also appeared to suppress appetite as well. Since then, several studies seem to indicate that hydroxycitric acid has no positive effects, and no value as a weight loss and dieting aid. If there’s any hope for this supplement it all, it lies with a new more potent version of HCA called Super Citrimax — see the full Citrimax review for more details.
2. Gymnema Sylvestre extract: In the correct dosage, preliminary evidence seems to indicate this ingredient may affect blood glucose levels by reducing its absorption in the intestines. More evidence is needed to properly rate the effectiveness of this ingredient as a potent fat burner. It also may inhibit the ability to “taste” sweet or sour flavors.
3. Grape extract: hard to say what it is they’re extracting from the grape, but it’s likely it’s being used for its powerful antioxidant properties in this formula.
4. Caffeine-free green tea extract: although caffeine is a mild thermogenic (fat burner) caffeine-free green tea still offers numerous benefits to any fat burner supplement — a full review of green tea is offered here. If you have any comments on green tea, please post them to my blog.
5. Whey Mineral complex: hard to know exactly what this consists of, since retailers don’t offer any more details than this on the label. Whey does offer benefits to diets, but not in such a low dose.
6. American ginseng: Ginseng is a well-known adaptogen, and helps your body adjust to stress of all sorts.
7. Poliosanol: I think this is mislabeled — it should be policosanol, an ingredient that when taken at a dosage of between 10-20 mg/day has great effects on cholesterol levels. Not only does it lower overall cholesterol levels, it appears to decrease LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol). It’s hard to tell how much of this ingredient is present in the Lean Balance formula — it’s jumbled together with the last two ingredients in a blend called “SourceCal.”
Although Lean Balance does contain some worthwhile ingredients, many of them have little or no scientific evidence behind them, and there are certainly no peer-reviewed, double blind studies validating Lean Balance itself. Therefore, I am hesitant to recommend this product outright. Nonetheless, I am eager to hear from you that have used Lean Balance…